Iona Abbey

TGA Consulting Engineers LLP were employed by Historic Scotland for the restoration of the abbey’s mechanical and electrical services, involving full design and site supervision. The engineering works value on this project was approximately £500,000

The abbey is one of the oldest and most important religious centres in Western Europe and was a focal point for the spread of Christianity throughout Scotland.


The monastery was founded in 563 AD, by Columba who came to Iona from Ireland.

The majority of the existing Benedictine abbey dates from the medieval period. Building work began on the Abbey church in around 1200, almost certainly on or near the site of the original Columban church.

Our commission included a detailed site investigation and survey followed by the preparation of a full feasibility study into provision of engineering services in and around the historic buildings. Considerations included the limited availability of electrical power, via a single cable from Mull, the possible use of heat pumps in the sea to provide space heating as well as the implications for delivery and storage of other potential fuels such as oil, LPG etc.

The project then progressed through the strategic planning and implementation of engineering services infrastructure works for all building engineering services followed by the detailed design and subsequent phased installation, over three winter seasons of the new services. Works within the historic buildings demanded a particularly high degree of coordination of the engineering services with each other and with the building fabric.